It was April 2021 and at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, it was decided to join, for the first time in history, a labor union, the retail and department store union. As we wrote, of the approximately 5,800 employees hired, just over 3,000 were eligible to vote. 50% was enough to ensure that the plant could benefit from the consortium’s support.
Just a few days later, the vote marked a “no” victory, with more than 1,700 workers opposing the move. The retail and department store union did not give up, and began proceedings to challenge the legality of the vote and any interference by Amazon in the tracks of workers’ organizing.
Well, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Amazon violated US factory labor law, which affected the final decision. The presiding director will now have to comment on a possible new internal referendum, even if the final decision, according to US law, rests with the Federal Bureau of the NLRB, which is based in Atlanta.
Some employees at the Bessemer warehouse, who remain anonymous for obvious reasons, said Amazon went to great lengths to discourage them from voting for the union, including hanging banners over restrooms, mandatory meetings on membership sides, and face-to-face meetings. With the most “influential” collaborators.
One of the accusations against Amazon is based on the fact that the e-commerce giant illegally installed a US State Service mailbox (our post office), in the logistics center parking lot during the election. The union is sure that the directors gained access to the secret votes, which were released under the company’s supervision. According to the NLRB, voting should take place in a “neutral” location and not at the factory.
Maria Bosti, a spokeswoman for Amazon, said the company plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision. “Our employees had the opportunity to have their views heard during a difficult time, when the case caught the attention of the national public. And what happened? They voted overwhelmingly in favor of direct contact with their managers and the company, without going through a trade union.”
Many of the people in favor of joining the union have tried to organize to press for a greater understanding of how the behemoth operates and how much it will pull during lockdowns and the difficult months of the pandemic. According to the investigation conducted by NBC NewsThe number of allegations against Amazon and its interference with workers’ rights tripled during Covid.
And what about Italy?
In May this year, for the first time in Italy, Amazon factory workers elected a united union representation (Rsu). It happened at the headquarters of Castel San Giovanni, in the province of Piacenza, where just over 800 of the total of 1,650 permanent employees took part in the voting. Workers chose Filcams CGIL as the first union to win six seats with 361 preferences, equaling 46.1%. Then he won with 33.8% of the vote and four seats. Fisckat Cecil and Oilux Oil follow with 12.4% and 7.7% of the vote, and each will get one seat.
You may be interested in:
Friendly alcohol advocate. Future teen idol. Beer aficionado. Amateur music fanatic. Food guru.